Monday, October 30, 2006

YouTube Favorites

A career-motivating film, from 1947 or so, on becoming The Librarian. (via LipstickLibrarian)

Patti Smith performing "Don't Smoke in Bed."

Sesame Street, "The Golden An." And the classic "Lowercase N." (A song Ookla the Mok should cover.)

Vintage Fleetwood Mac: "I'm So Afraid" from 1976.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


The storm really took its psychic toll on me, as for many of us, I'm sure. This week I've been getting out again, like seeing Petra Haden and her acapella group The Sell Outs, perform some of The Who Sell Out as well as Bach.

I also spent a day with friends at Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, looking at all the cute and useless stuff and buying none.

This afternoon I went to a reading of Olga Karman's Scatter My Ashes Over Havana. I've known Olga since I was 12, mostly as a poet. Her work of prose is an amazing thing, vivid and moving and often very sad, describing her leaving Havana, Cuba, at age 20, losing all contact with her family and friends, and returning 37 years later to find a very different place. (Ginger, if you think you might be interested, I'll share my copy with you.)

Coming Up:
The Possums at Nietzsche's, happy hour, Friday November 3.
Joe Rozler and Mary Ramsey at Classics on Elmwood, UU Church, Friday, November 10. A rare and special event, indeed.
My cousin, Ken Schlimgen, in a production of Gilbert & Sullivan's Patience, at Theatreloft, also that second weekend of November.
Help the library, please

Buffalo Libraries are campaigning for restoration of their budget, decimated by the crisis a fewyears ago. Please help by writing a letter or email to your representatives.

The BECPL page gives a rundown of the situation. Here's how to contact your legislator.

Here's my simple letter (feel free to use my text; the library page also has sample text to borrow):

I'm writing to ask that you restore full funding to the Buffalo and Erie County Library system in the 2007 budget. I write both as a librarian and as a citizen concerned about literacy and simple access to information in our city. Library services are vital. I'm sure you know how difficult the library situation has been since the Red Budget crisis; I ask that you do what you can to rectify the situation on your watch.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Six Melodies

I'm watching The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill for the 8th time, hot water bottle on my belly, hanging in chat, shaking off a cup of yarrow tea (boy, that stuff really *is* mildly psychotropic!). I had a bath, listening to John Cage, read a chapter of a book about Brian Eno, and wrote my busy sweetheart a love letter.

What are you doing?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Day 3, I guess, of October Storm 2006. I have taken in a houseguest. She, like about 300,000 others, still has no electricity. I've been checking updates at the National Grid site, about every 4 hours, and their numbers of folks who still need service seem actually to be rising--230,000 to 246,000 between 12 and 4 pm.

On my own street, I can observe after dark that around 1/3 of the properties have no power. The street is definitely a hazardous zone--sometimes the parking lanes are blocked, sometimes the sidewalk. The dog is perplexed by our circuitous route.

Walked up to Richmond Avenue just now, to check out what the trucks were doing--scooping up tree limbs and loading them out. I wish that the city would give some direction about how citizens could help with tree debris--this, at least, is not a highly dangerous or technical job. Do they want limbs piled in one direction, or criss-cross? We could handle this task.

My prayer tonight is that the workers find all the magical connections possible--one wire which can restore awhole block or even neighborhood to humming, a solution to the puzzle which is the map at present. I'm grateful to the crews which have come from Ohio and elsewhere to staff trucks and positions. Thinking good thoughts, and thank you.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Buffalo: blogging disaster

I added some more pics to my set. Also check out the Buffalo set at Flickr. This is a day when I desperately wish Buffalo had a true web infrastructure--there's almost no information online about road conditions, power restoration, or closings. Radio and tv news are up-to-date, though.

The horror which is the Buffalo News website has one story. One.

As far as I can tell, driving bans are in effect everywhere still, due to limbs and downed power lines. The power companies are talking about it being a week before power is back on for everyone. As far as I can tell, no customers have had power restored as of yet (this storm began about 25 hours ago.)

It's hard not to think of other poorly managed disasters of late.

We're still fine, but most folks I talked to by phone today had no power or heat. We're lucky that the temperature is 47F at the moment.
The New York State Thruway's Closed, Man. (--Arlo Guthrie, at Woodstock)

No, it's not Woodstock. Western New York got a freakish 17 inches of snow yesterday. I commuted to Orchard Park and back in hail, thunder and lightning. They had rain. When I returned to the city, every tree along Forest Avenue had some branches down. Like, full limbs of trees.

It's the earliest October snowstorm ever recorded. A quarter million people are without power. Many cars have been damaged by falling limbs. Travel ban is in effect. We won't be dug out and humming for a few days, I think.

See more photos here.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

October Update

Love getting new incense; the little holder in the top of the box. Flick, click, light, peace.

Driving south, the sunset light on the brick of the buildings, my harvest, pretty as any tree line.

Tonight after the poetry reading (where I mostly heard the names of plants, the register of light), splashy rain in the dark of Allen Street, and wind. Leaves blown into the entry way of the bookstore, the bar. (Poems by Martin Clibbens, Ethan Paquin; art by Dana Scott, Jeff Vincent.)

Chickweed is coming up everywhere in my yard, where it never was before. Matthew Wood's Plants as Medicine and Alice Notley's Alma, or The Dead Woman in the mail today.

Hats from all over the world to be sent to the cancer center in Ottawa.

Many small, interesting jobs. A little work on the novel. Gomasio, apple pie, dog romp in cemetery, disheveled mornings watching the squirrels from second-floor kitchen window.

Paid off my credit card.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Media count

CDs: 286
casettes: 378
LPs: including those for sale, probably 400.
VHS tapes: 105

Have never counted books; have 3 bookcases full.

Need new ways to arrange these things, and better access to my turntable.